Miners at Zambia’s Kagem mine, in the north of the country, have discovered a rare high quality 5,655 carat (1.13kg) emerald crystal.
The emerald – dubbed “Inkalamu” (meaning lion) – “shows remarkable clarity with a perfectly balanced golden green colour,” according to a statement released by Kagem Mining Ltd.
The emerald is already creating a buzz in the global gemstone industry ahead of its auction in Singapore next month, the statement added.
“We are experiencing strikingly increased demand for high quality Zambian emeralds from the major brands, particularly in Europe, all of whom admire the rich colour and unique transparency of our gems.
The huge gemstone will be cut into smaller stones to be sold.
Inkalamu was discovered in the eastern part of Kagem’s largest open-pit mine on 2 October.
Kagem is 75% owned by London-based Gemfields and 25% by the Zambian government through its investment wing, the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia.